A portfolio of 11 hotels owned and operated by QMH have been sold to Marathon Asset Management, the American investment company, for an undisclosed sum.
The properties have been offloaded by Goldman Sachs’ Whitehall Fund, which acquired what was then known as Queens Moat House for £544m in 2004, when the group operated 80 hotels in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.
In the intervening years, individual and groups of hotels have been sold off with the 20 German properties being bought by Israeli company, Fattal Hotels, in February 2013.
The 11 UK hotels are branded as Crowne Plaza (three) or Holiday Inn (seven) properties under franchise agreements with InterContinental Hotels Group, with one – the Reading Moat House, a member of the Best Western consortium.
The sale of the hotels was handled by property agents Christie + Co. Jeremy Hill from Christie + Co, described the deal as “a rare opportunity to acquire a ready-made portfolio of hotels with a profitable trading profile”
“The group has benefited from an ongoing extensive multimillion-pound refurbishment programme with recent investments in key assets including Crowne Plaza Glasgow, Holiday Inn Stratford-upon-Avon and Crowne Plaza Chester,” he added.
“Marathon Asset Management has acquired a strong portfolio that gives it a platform from which it will be able to fulfil its ambitions for further hospitality investments in the UK and continental Europe,” he said.
According to the latest company accounts lodged at Companies House, QMH carried a debt of £466m for the year ending 31 December 2012, with an achieved revenue per available room rate of £40.72 for its UK hotels.
Queens Moat Houses – once one of the biggest names in UK hotels – faced near collapse in 1993 as the result of an accounting scandal, which resulted in an 11-year inquiry by the Department of Trade and Industry. An asset writedown of nearly £1b left the company with a mountain of debt.
The 11 hotels acquired by Marathon Asset Management are:
• Crowne Plaza Chester, 160 bedrooms
• Crowne Plaza Glasgow, 283 bedrooms
• Crowne Plaza Nottingham, 210 bedrooms
• Holiday Inn Doncaster, 102 bedrooms
• Holiday Inn Harrogate, 214 bedrooms
• Holiday Inn Luton South, 140 bedrooms
• Holiday Inn Peterborough West, 133 bedrooms
• Holiday Inn Plymouth, 211 bedrooms
• Holiday Inn Solihull, 120 bedrooms
• Holiday Inn Stratford-upon-Avon, 259 bedrooms
• Best Western Plus Reading Moat House, 129 bedrooms